Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can any 2 people be truly happy in a relationship?

The answer to this question is: Absolutely! If and only if 3 elements are present: 1.) Mutual respect, 2.) Open honest communication, 3.) Genuine affection.

Having mutual respect pretty much covers everything from honoring one another, learning each other’s similarities and differences without judgement – to being considerate of each other’s feelings and allowing one another to express openly and honestly without yelling. Ask yourself: Do I respect this person so much that I’d be happy if one of my children turned out like him/her?

This leads us to element #2: Open honest communication. This should not be done only when needed, but be done often – speaking with a respectful tone, and ‘not yelling.’ Ask yourself: Do I feel safe to express myself around this person? Can I tell him/her anything, no matter how controversial, and know we’ll find a way to talk things out, and make things right for us?

This leads us to element #3: Genuine affection. I’m not just talking about the hand holding, or cuddling in bed or on the couch. By genuine affection I mean the stuff you do with conscious effort, not just stuff you do on autopilot. I’m talking about anything from giving you a big warm hug to wish you good morning, to coming up from behind to hold you for a moment while you’re preparing a meal. Perhaps even stroking your hair or caressing your arm or back when you’ve had a long day.

Ask yourself: If something bothered me, or if I had a rough day, does he or she care enough to ask about it? Whether it would be giving me a hug or a kiss on my forehead, or holding me for a little while, does he or she make me feel like they care and are supportive?

Ask yourself the right questions and you’ll be able to figure out if these 3 elements exist in your relationship. For those of you who feel sad after thinking about this…don’t worry, you’re not alone… I know how you feel. I’ll address something else on my next post that could help you think things through. But meanwhile, just commit to doing your best with these 3 elements, no matter how much you feel your partner is not participating or reciprocating. Just know that if they don’t appreciate you for this, sooner or later they will be left behind and someone worthy of your efforts will come along… Stay tuned to my next post!
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  1. I think this great advice, especially for men to hear. Enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  2. This is wonderful advice. For me being happy in a relationship takes a lot of prayer, hard work, understanding and commitment. You cannot establish a relationship based on physical features and status...among other things. You have to look deep down inside to see if you're compatable with that person. If you rely on the "things" that person has then that realtionship will not last. Always remember that its whats inside that counts.